A summer tan is one thing, but if you’ve ever experienced isolated patches of dark spots particularly on your face, you’re most likely dealing with hyperpigmentation. This skin condition occurs when the skin produces excess melanin (the pigment that generates skin color) resulting in an uneven skin tone. While the Osteopathic College of Dermatology says it’s harmless, that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating. Here’s what you need to know:
What causes it?
There are multiple root causes. Besides hormone changes (hello, pregnancy!) and acne scars, sun exposure can increase melanin production and the resulting hyperpigmentation. As Beauty by Dolly Director of Operations Natashah Torki has said, “The skin on your face and neck is exposed to UV rays a lot more than the rest of the body. And since waxing can remove the first layer of skin, it could lead to pigmentation if you go out in the sun afterwards.”
How can I prevent it (or at least reduce my chances)?
First off: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Opt for a version that protects against UVA and UVB rays and remember to reapply every two hours. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if you’re in need of a safer hair removal option, threading and sugaring are less exfoliating options than waxing, so you can go out in the sun post-treatment with peace of mind.
What can I do for the dark spots I already have?
Vitamin C has been found to be a potent treatment, thanks to its ability to block melanin-producing enzymes. Scrubbing with an exfoliant helps to slough off that darker skin, but if you’re using a chemical exfoliant, remember that you’re far more susceptible to sun damage. We’ll say it again, sunscreen!